Sunday, April 02, 2017

Pre-Fool Ducks.

On Friday, after work, April Fools Eve, I felt it appropriate to call in at DBCP to see the pair of Mandarin Ducks at the boat ramp. Just like the Ferruginous Duck, these were fully wild birds, timid and unringed and as such they will be cheerfully added to the year list. No fool here...

While carefully stalking such wild quarry, my first two Sand Martins of the year twittered over head...

Likely, the colourful little tree ducks will be gone now, to continue their spring passage, somewhere.


3 comments:

Dylan Wrathall said...

Stewart, there is a very strong possibility that these Mandarins are engaged in some type of migratory behavior, just as demonstrated by the feral Canada Geese of UK origins. I have twice noted Mandarins at Loch Awe in the passed three years, so something is definitely happening, never having seen them previously - going back to 1982!
Despite our perception of being plastic wildfowl - they must still retain something within their genetics to trigger such seasonal movements? Might not be important - doesn't stop it being interesting? - Dyl

Stewart said...

Hi Dyl, Ta for the comment. I know I was being tongue in cheek when on about the Mandarins, but I do have a little theory about the presence of such birds. Some of my peers up here call them 'plastic'. I'm not sure what they really expect, theyre Mandarins for goodness sake, not Baikal Teal! Of course they were plastic, once, but now I feel they have every bit as much right here as Canada Geese, most Greylags, more than Pheasants and Red legs etc. No one calls Little Owls plastic.

In Northumberland we have a small breeding population of Mandarins, but they use nest boxes 50 miles to the west of us near Kielder Water. In recent years, numbers on the coast have become more regular with one or two popping up in spring, most years. So, yes, I do agree they are moving somewhere, but where I have no idea...

Interesting though, I love these questions...

Cheers Stewart

Stevie Evans said...

Stewart, just started reading blogs regularly
100km south of you Co.Durham Mandarins have come on leaps & bounds, spreading to lowland waterbodies to breed. Although can be elusive for such a gaudy bird....
Further inland on the dales becks (burns) they are 100% wild & you cannot get near them. I had 2 natural nest sites with 400m of each other & never saw the drake after May.
The more we look the more questions there are.

("plastic" - that term seems widely used by those without an enlightened or enquiring mind:-) )

havnt looked into that moth stuff yet - mucho cheers.